KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Bruce Arena won't spend a lot of time breaking this game down. The sooner his LA Galaxy side move on from it, the better – and this was after taking a point from a road clash against a Western Conference rival.
“Some days are going to look like this,” Arena told reporters after the Galaxy earned a 1-1 draw against Sporting Kansas City on Sunday night, despite right back Ashley Cole drawing two yellow cards in just over 30 seconds in the 70th minute. “To grind out and get a point here is important. We're pleased with that.”
Aside from the defensive lockdown after Cole's ejection – and, of course, the counterattack launched by Gyasi Zardes that led to Giovani Dos Santos' pretty equalizer late in the first half – Arena wasn't pleased with much else from his club on Sunday night.
“I don't think we played well today,” he said. “There were a lot of issues with this game today. It's a point. We're going home, and we're not looking back.”
Arena made one significant lineup change for Sunday's match, putting Mike Magee in the defensive midfield, and he wasn't all that happy with how that turned out, either, bringing in Jeff Larentowicz for Sebastian Lletget in the 62nd minute and replacing Magee with Robbie Rogers after Cole's dismissal.
“That probably wasn't the best, putting Magee in with [Baggio] Husidic,” Arena said. “I thought Larentowicz did a real fine job, but he's just coming back from his offseason surgery, and we don't want to throw that many minutes at him this early, so we were pretty conservative with him. But I thought he did a very good job – as did Robbie Rogers, coming in for Ashley. So I was pleased with that.”
As to Cole's second caution, for a foul on Benny Feilhaber – close on the heels of his first yellow, for time-wasting on a throw-in – Arena shrugged and cryptically referred to “Law 18,” which is an unwritten principle rather than a true law of the game.
“I have no idea. We need to publish Law 18, and make a lot of copies of that, and send it off to everyone in our league,” Arena said. “You know what Law 18 is? Law 18 is common sense. That's the law we definitely violate every game.”
Cole, who will be suspended for the Galaxy's May 8 home match against New England, left without speaking to reporters.
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.